Curis Resources (TSE:CUV) said Monday development at its Florence copper project in Arizona remains on track as the company provided a progress update.
The project, which is located in Central Arizona, hosts a measured
and indicated resource of 429 million tonnes grading 0.33 percent copper
at a cut-off of 0.05 percent.
"We have become aware of misinformation circulating in the public
domain relating to the permitting and development of Florence Copper,"
chief executive Michael McPhie said in a statement.
"This misinformation is leading to confusion about the company's
plans to advance its in-situ copper recovery project in Florence."
Last Friday, the company finalized a $40 million loan for its
underground copper mining project in Pinal County, with Red Kit Group,
an international finance group.
"The development of Florence Copper remains on track. With the
closing of a $40 million non-dilutive financing agreement with Red
Kite, our focus is now on completing necessary project permitting and
preparing for the start of construction for the first phase of project
operations," said McPhie.
In the coming weeks, the company said it expects to receive a phase 1 operating permit for its flagship copper project.
"We have developed a strong working relationship with all of the
regulatory agencies responsible for reviewing Curis' amended permit
applications," said Curis' VP of environment and technical services, Dan
"We have appreciated the professional approach and consideration
shown for Florence Copper by both the State of Arizona and U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and look forward to completing
the next phase of project permitting in the weeks and months ahead."
In 1997, previous Florence project owner BHP Copper received all
major operating permits necessary for commercial production of copper
by in situ recovery methods.
Since acquiring Florence in late 2009, Curis has been working to
amend and update these permits. No formal environmental impact
assessment (EIA) of the project is required, the company said.
On May 2, Curis received comments from the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in connection to its phase 1 production
test facility permit.
The company said that it is in the process of addressing these comments and plans to file a response to the ADEQ shortly.
Once the permit is approved, Curis can develop a 24 well injection
and recovery system and a state of the art solvent extraction
electro-winning plant. The phase 1 production test facility is expected
to last 18 months.
“There is a substantial copper resource on the 160-acre State Trust
land area that is sufficient to support a commercial scale operation,”
David Copeland, a director of Curis Resources said in a statement.
"The advancement of the Phase 1 Production Test Facility in the
near-term will allow us to optimize key engineering aspects of the
project, including enhancing copper recoveries, and will set the stage
for the advancement of the project to full-scale commercial operations.”
The company also expects to have phase 2 commercial scale operating
permit approvals in place well before the start of commercial
development in late 2013. It plans to complete the amended phase 2
operating permit in parallel with phase 1 operations.
Meanwhile, the copper explorer was given a review letter by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its application to amend
and update an existing underground injection control permit.
Since then, the company, along with a “highly skilled” consulting
team, have provided the agency with answers to its questions. Curis aims
to complete this amendment process in the near term.
In addition, Curis holds water rights and groundwater rights to its
flagship copper property, which allows the company to utilize
groundwater for in-situ copper recovery.
These rights, administered by the Arizona Department of Water
Resources, are fully owned by Curis, and are sufficient to support
commercial-scale in-situ copper recovery operations, the company said.
"What we're experiencing is the normal back and forth of an agency review of operating permits," said Johnson.
"We appreciate the constructive feedback provided by both EPA and
ADEQ and look forward to completing the required permitting for
Florence Copper in the near term."
beginning construction of the phase 1 in-situ copper recovery well
field and SX/EW plant in the third quarter, with initial copper cathode
production slated for early 2013.
Curis Resources is a diversified mining company focused on advancing its 100 percent owned Florence Copper project to production.
In a statement Monday, the company quoted a letter to the Town of
Florence dated December 19, 2011, in which State Land Commissioner Maria
Baier confirmed that Florence Copper "has the potential to generate
more revenue than any project that the ASLD has been involved with
during its almost one hundred years of existence."